Wednesday, August 22, 2012

177. Drunkin Noodles (Wide Rice Noodles)


Update:  9-19-2013.  The noodles that I have used for this recipe seem to contain wheat starch.  I was asked this by a reader and reached out to the manufacturer and he replied with this response:

Dear Sherron,
The rice sheet contains wheat starch, so it cannot be qualified as gluten free as wheat starch may contain trace amount of wheat protein (gluten).

This is a problem if you need this dish to be gluten free.  As a substitute you can use gf noodles, but you will lose the "wide noodle" look and texture.  If I find something that can be used for my gf followers I will definitely let you know.  Thanks!

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I have been looking for these noodles for 20+ years.  I have googled every recipe that I can find on how to make your own wide rice noodles.  To be honest, it looks difficult.

I am not one to back away from a challenge and especially a food challenge, but I do believe that some things are just better left to the professionals.

I have moved numerous times and been in many Asian Markets.  I have looked through stacks of noodle packaging, often times not really knowing what I was reading or looking at.  The languages on the packages are from China, Korea and Japan….I don't speak any of these and can barely recognize the differences in the kanji's.  Throughout this search, I have discovered many other flavors and foods to test and try in the kitchen.

I stumbled upon a post, yes it was "how to make wide rice noodles" and there I discovered something.  You can BUY these noodles in the store.  I had to beg to differ.  I had been in stores and I could not find a wide rice noodle anywhere….It turns out, they are not sold as wide noodles, but sheets of rice pasta and they were sold in the refrigerator section.

Here they were, this whole time, tucked between the miso soups and tofus of the world.  All lined up in a row with their distinct languages printed across the packaging and without a single word saying "wide rice noodles".

Honestly, if I had not stumbled upon this post, I would never have found them and I am so glad that I did.

I make this dish similar to my other Asian influenced stir fry's.  I try to use the basic sauce recipe and change the veggies and meat around a bit.  For me, the noodle makes the dish.

While eating the meat and veggies can be reminiscent of  Pad Woon Sen, the noodle is not.  It has a smooth and slippery feel to it.  When this is combined with the crunch of al dante veggies and chicken or beef…you mouth sings!  OK, maybe that is just my mouth..LOL

I am trying to tell you it is delicious, different and definitely a family hit at our home.

I have included more pictures with this post because I want you to have something to reference when you go to the store.   The noodles can only be purchased at an Asian store or possibly on line and sent to you.

This is the brand that I use and a quick tutorial on how to prepare the noodles : see below.


Preparing the noodles is an easy process.  Puncture a whole in the bag and microwave for a minute.  The noodles should be soft and pliable when they are warm.  Once the noodles are soft, then you can unwrap the noodle sheets and cut them into WIDE noodles…FINALLY, I have wide rice noodles.


You may notice that some of the noodle sheet is still hard and this is okay.  I have still been able to cut and use them in my dish.  The noodles are stuck together and you will need to peel them apart.  Peeled apart they will be very thin and LONG.  I usually cut the noodle strips into 5-6 inch pieces.


Once the noodles are cut into strips and unstuck from each other, you are ready to use them.  I use them in a dish called Drunkin' Noodles, this is a favorite with my hubby when we go out to eat.

Recipe:  Drunkin' Noodles using Wide Rice Noodles

2 cups of cooked meat: chicken, beef or pork
1 small head of cabbage, diced into 1X1 inch squares
1 small red onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 T. minced garlic
oil, vegetable
oil, sesame

Sauce:

1/4 cup of dark soy sauce, omit for gluten allergies and substitute the gluten free version
1/4 cup of soy sauce, use a gluten free version if need be
1 teaspoon fish sauce, use more if you want a bolder flavor

I have included a picture of the brands that I use with the sauce, I thought it would be easier.
Combine the three into a small bowl and set aside.


Prepare all of the veggies according to the recommended style: diced, sliced, cubed…etc.  I use napa cabbage for this dish and it does provide a lot more than a normal head of cabbage.  I cut off the bottom 4 inches.  I personally do not like this part of the cabbage and you might be able to add it to soup stock.



In a large pan or wok, add the oils.  I use a vegetable oil, that I add some sesame oil to.  This adds a nice flavor to the dish.  You can use just sesame oil but it makes the dish taste very "sesame".  Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.



Add the remaining veggies.  You may need to do this in two batches.  Just add a bit more oil and toss them together in the end.  The veggies will reduce.


Add the noodles (directions for preparation are on the back of the packaging or see above).


Add the sauce.  Toss and cook for 3-5 minutes.  The noodles will turn the color of the sauce.









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